Historic hotel finds new life as a public library

March 09, 2011 |
Drew Ballensky

A grand Richardson Romanesque building that was a hotel for most of its existence has been transformed into a modern public library and historic museum. Constructed in 1891, the former Ft. Piqua Hotel in Piqua, OH underwent a $19.7 million adaptive reuse project that preserved much of its historic character. http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6727902.html

The design team of PSA-Dewberry, MKC Associates, and Jeff Wray Associates was challenged by antiquated systems, structural deficiencies, hazardous materials, and animal infestation in the 80,000 s.f. structure, which had been vacant for many years. The project restored historic details including a dramatic skylight, a fireplace, and existing historic windows with glass inserts added to create an energy-efficient thermal pane effect. The stacked stone walls and low ceilings in the building’s basement helped to create a castle-like children’s area.

The building’s history, including a few US Presidential visits and an NAACP lunch counter sit-in for civil rights in 1947, is highlighted in exhibits. Another room is now the “Veterans Room,” containing military exhibits and special presentations. One corridor is dedicated to an art gallery. The project won the 2010 Ohio Historic Preservation Office award and a Heritage Ohio Public Improvement Award.

Drew Ballensky | Reconstruction Blog

Drew Ballensky is general manager of Duro-Last Roofing, Inc.’s central U.S. facility in Iowa and company spokesman for Duro-Last’s cool roofing, sustainability and architectural education programs. He is past-president of the Chemical Fabrics and Film Association and chairman of CFFA’s Vinyl Roofing Division. Drew earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from the University of Northern Iowa and master’s degree in business administration from Florida State University.
Drew has over 29 years experience in business and industry in various engineering and managerial capacities. He has worked in the U.S. and Canadian operations for a major international manufacturer of pre-engineered steel buildings, was a financial analyst with a major athletic apparel manufacturer and was an owner of a general contracting company.

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